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3 Tips to Keep You Charged with Solar Backup Batteries

Solar backup batteries can surely be a life saver and we frequently recommend them, however there are important considerations to take into account when determining if they’re the right solution for your situation.  Outlined below are three items to look at when deciding on the right backup battery option.  

1. Battery Size Matters

Having the right size solar system with the correct number of panels can make or break your charging ability. Too few panels and you won’t get the charge you need. We always recommend over-sizing the size of your solar array.

There are several factors that go into determining what size solar backup battery system you need:

  • Estimated Watt demand
  • Hours per day the application will run
  • System voltage
  • Number of days backup power is required
  • Battery Amp rating
  • Direct sun hours per day
  • Panel watt rating

Taking these factors into account, we’ve created an online battery solar backup calculator to make it easier for you to determine the size of replacement solar batteries you’ll need for your particular system.

2. Solar Panel Location is Key

As mentioned when determining the size, the hours of direct sunlight are a key factor. To effectively charge, solar backup batteries need direct sunlight. You need to be realistic about the number of direct sunlight hours you’ll have. Conditions such as an overcast sky, shadows, improper mounting angle, equatorial direction or short winter days will reduce the actual solar panel output to below the rated values. The length of daylight available can vary greatly by season. Daylight hours in summer versus winter can be quite different.

When calculating the number of panels you’ll need, err on the side of caution to help compensate for variables such as shade, clouds, panel angle, etc.

3. Use a Solar Controller

We always recommend using a solar controller with your solar backup battery anytime you use a panel that is over 5 watts rated output. A good idea in many applications, the charge controller can help you prevent overcharge, prevent battery discharge during low or no light conditions, and improve charge quality. The controller will allow power to pass to the battery when it needs it and cut it off when the battery if fully charged.

Learn more about creating a battery backup photovoltaic system in our Knowledge Base article, Solar Info: The Down Low on Everything Up High. It explores the most frequently asked questions we receive on solar backup batteries and is a great place to get started. Once you’ve got a feel for the system you need, shop our selection of solar chargers

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